Aros Hall, Tobermory
Katie Morag (2005)
by Lisa Grindall
Based on the stories by Mairi Hedderwick
Travel on the ferry to Struay to meet one of the best-loved characters in children’s books – Katie Morag McColl. She may live on a tiny weather-beaten island, but there’s plenty of mischief to get up to, and Katie Morag is always up to something! Meet Eriska the horse and the Struay cats, join in with the treasure trail, stumble across ancient ghosts in spooky places, find out why the American city kids don’t like island life, and help Katie Morag find the answers to the riddles. Katie Morag comes to life in a musical show full of fun for all the family.
Director – Gordon Dougall
Assistant Director – Fletcher Mathers
Designer – Robin Peoples
Scenic Artist – Alan Melvin
Prop maker – Scott Bisset
Costumes – Andrea Macphail
Songs – Lisa Grindall and Gordon Dougall, arranged by Gordon Dougall
Incidental music – Gordon Dougall
Production/Technical management – Mick Andrew/Maria Bechaalani
Lighting Design – Mick Andrew
DSM – Kenna Grant
ASMs – Alison Brodie/Kay McIntyre
Sound Effects – Martin Low
Publicity and production photographs – Douglas Robertson
Poster Design – Emma Quinn
Kirstin McLean as Katie Morag
Anne Kidd as Grannie Mainland
Ann Scott-Jones as Grannie Island
Beth Marshall as Lauren
Kevin Lennon as Dude
KATIE MORAG (2005)
September 21 2005
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
The First Minister and his colleagues are fond of talking about the need for a smart, successful Scotland and, if they're serious about educating the nation's children into that positive self-image, they could do worse than to adopt as a model the bustlingly confident and upbeat little heroine of Mairi Hedderwick's children's books. Now brought to the stage for the first time in this touring production from the Mull Theatre Company, Katie Morag is a red-haired tot of eight or so who firmly believes her island home of Struay to be the centre of the world, which, in these post-modern times, it probably is. So she's ideally placed to make the most of the story told in Lisa Grindall's lively 90-minute script, which describes the visit of two apparently ghastly American kids, Dude and Princess, who turn out to be faraway cousins of Katie's and - after a bit of island re-education - not so bad after all.
Gordon Dougall's production, clocking in at an hour and three quarters, is probably a shade too long for the show's ideal audience of three to seven year-olds, and only a couple of the half-dozen songs Dougall and Grindall have written for it are really worth including. But Robin Peoples's graphic storybook sets - post office, pier, croft, castle and ferry leaving for Oban - bring little nods and ripples of approval from the tiny-tot audience, while a string of excellent, good-hearted performances from Dougall's six-strong cast ensure the show sails on merrily to the end.
September 21 2005
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
"Yo ho ho and away we go" – on-stage, Katie Morag and her American chums are swinging pirate cutlasses, bouncing about and leading us in a jolly song about hunting for treasure. Eager tots are on their feet, waving their arms and "yo-ho-ho-ing" along – but actually, they've already discovered the treasure. A lively, lovingly-presented wee show about making new friends and not judging people (or places) by appearances.
Lisa Grindall's script for this Mull Theatre production is based on the best-selling Katie Morag stories by Mairi Hedderwick. But rather than recreate one of those, Grindall has opted – with Hedderwick's approval – to use her idyllic island of Struay and core characters in a musical play that picks up on the present trend for tracing family trees and introduces a couple of amusingly disgruntled Florida youngsters into the mix.
Princess and Dude can't believe how totally without shopping malls Struay is, and declare it boring – an attitude that is instant heresy to Katie Morag. Luckily her Grannies have a plan that will sort everything out. Robin Peoples has designed one of his cunning "origami" sets – a split-asunder, rotating and unfolding exterior/interior that allows Katie Morag and her companions, Dude and Princess, to roam the island in pursuit of the supposed treasure. Kirstin McLean's Katie Morag is lovably gung-ho in her trademark wellies while Claire Dargo's petulant Barbie-lookalike Princess and Kevin Lennon's determinedly cool Dude succeed in being over-the-top stereotypes who convincingly turn into fun kids under the beguiling influence of Struay, where lots of sing-along participation, and even a talking horse, seem to be the order of the day – Yo ho!